Genius Hour continues


Mykenzi Doran

Music Mayhem Senior Austin Parker discusses with music mentor Larry Detwiler about his genius hour project. Parker’s project will bring a brass quartet back to the high school to perform and have fun.

Once every month, Principal Andrew Neely and literacy coach Mike Baker work together to help provide Genius Hour for students. However, the December Genius Hour was missed which changed the schedule of the Jan. 13 Genius Hour. 

When asked, people often have their own definition for what Genius Hour is. The co-director of Genius Hour, Mike Baker, has his own thoughts about what Genius Hour is.

“Genius Hour is an opportunity for students to have time to learn more about something that they really enjoy,” Baker said.“It’s important because we lost a year and a half of time in school. And I think a big part of Genius Hour is the relationship of teachers supporting students as they work on their projects and that can help repair that,” Baker said.

Genius Hour began at the start of the school year and will continue the remainder of the year.

“It adds a culture that encourages students to explore their passion, and I hope that students are doing that and hopefully not just doing a research project. It shouldn’t be about something that they really don’t enjoy,” Baker said.

All was going well with Genius Hour, until school on Dec. 22 was canceled along with Genius Hour that day. This messed up the planned out schedule, and added to the confusion of the missed day. However, the school thought ahead.

“We could always add a day, and we will really have a better idea, probably around March if people need more time,” Baker said.

Smart Futures activities are also a part of Genius Hour days.

“We have to do the Smart Futures because that’s a graduation requirement,” Baker said. “So there’s time for that. But we’ll also have another opportunity to earn a couple of those skills badges also in Smart Futures. Obviously, you’re going to have time to work on research. And teachers have an activity called a human continuum. That is getting up and moving around, and one of your classes that tells the story in the fifth period, and then in the sixth period, you’re going to look at different options to share your project and they and start thinking about how you might want to share this out. We’ll be out of here before you know.”

Supporting the winter athletes was also be a part of the day.

“It’s going to be the winter sports pep rally. So I don’t know what they’re working, up but I know there’s something that the teachers will do. They’re going to do some grade level wars, people will sit by grade level and cheer and also meet the winter sports athletes, including the new bocce ball team.”

Students have opinions about the upcoming Genius Hour and when they should be. 

“I feel like they chose a good day to put it on and that we are going to make good progress with our projects,” freshman Dannica Williams said. 

Despite the school deciding it was the best option to skip the December Genius Hour, some students didn’t believe it was the best option.

“No, because we need these days,” Williams said. “I like how we don’t have to do school work and how sometimes they have things at the end of the day.”

Many students have their own interpretations of why the school uses Genius Hour and Williams is no exception.

“Personally, I think the school uses Genius Hour to 1. Get the kids involved with something, 2. help the teachers have time to grade and stuff, and 3. Just to give everyone a break,” Williams said.

“I’m looking forward to it because I don’t consider Genius Hour school because it’s chill, and I usually get my work done in the first few minutes,” senior Eli Peteuil said. “I’m excited for the pep rally.”

The cancellation of the December Genius Hour was disliked and liked by many, Peteuil included.

“I think it was good to skip it, but if it was a F.I.D day, nobody would do it. Personally, I would have signed in but not have done the work for the Genius Hour. I know it’s bad, but nobody else would do it either,” Peteuil said.